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Tom Wills grave restoration project reveals football's heart, soul and history

Guardian Sport - Sun, 09/25/2016 - 16:30

A quest to restore the grave of Australia’s first cricket great and the father of Aussie Rules has brought a Melbourne teacher personal salvation

If there’s something a lifetime of following footy teaches you it’s that the rain never arrives when you want it to. With that in mind I find myself standing in a persistent drizzle on the corner of Upper Heidelberg and Darebin roads in Heidelberg, 13km north-east of Melbourne, on a dark and gloomy morning that at least offers a bright prospect.

Local English as an additional language teacher, amateur football historian and true believer Phil Dimitriadis is about to guide me through the gates of Warringal cemetery to the newly restored grave of Tom Wills, a founder and father of Australian rules football. Finals beckon, so its hard to begrudge winter’s lingering chill.

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Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe: La Cressonniere pulled out of race

BBC Sport - Sun, 09/25/2016 - 16:23
La Cressonniere will not run in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe because of a "problem", trainer Jean-Claude Rouget says.

Champions League of Darts: The moment Taylor won the final

BBC Sport - Sun, 09/25/2016 - 16:23
Watch the winning moment as Phil Taylor wins the inaugural Champions League of Darts in Cardiff.

West Ham fans give their verdict on the club's new stadium – video

Guardian Sport - Sun, 09/25/2016 - 16:20

After moving to London Stadium at the beginning of the season West Ham seemed to have struggled to settle into their new home. The team have won just one league game since moving from their famous old Boleyn Ground. We speak to fans of the club before and after the Premier League game against Southampton on Sunday to hear what they think of the move

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West Ham in disarray and Slaven Bilic has major surgery to do, says Chris Sutton

BBC Sport - Sun, 09/25/2016 - 16:07
West Ham are in "disarray" and boss Slaven Bilic has to perform "major surgery" to solve their problems, says BBC pundit Chris Sutton.

'Winning WSL title justifies risky Man City move'

BBC Sport - Sun, 09/25/2016 - 15:38
Manchester City and England captain Steph Houghton admits she took a risk when joining the new WSL champions in 2014.

Who has made Garth Crooks' team of the week?

BBC Sport - Sun, 09/25/2016 - 15:37
Which man is giving Spurs fans nightmares? Who is Garth's favourite current Premier League player? Find out in Garth Crooks' team of the week.

Ex-USA Gymnastics team doctor faces 16 more abuse allegations

Guardian Sport - Sun, 09/25/2016 - 15:35

Larry Nassar, who was recently fired from Michigan State University, already faces a lawsuit in California accusing him of groping an Olympic gymnast

A former USA Gymnastics team doctor who is accused of sexually abusing two gymnasts faces 16 more abuse complaints at a university where he was a faculty member.

Related: Ex-USA Gymnastics doctor accused of sexually assaulting a former Olympian

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West Ham restore order off the field, but are in disarray on it

Guardian Sport - Sun, 09/25/2016 - 15:23
West Ham took steps to ensure there was no disorder in the stands, but the team was in chaos on the pitch during the 3-0 defeat to Southampton

There was some good news for West Ham United on Sunday. Segregation between home and away supporters was effective, well stewarded and looked like the kind of precaution that might normally be put in place at a Premier League match.

Not only that, but there were 950 stewards at work around the ground, 200 more than normal. Each had undergone extra training to ensure they were capable of dealing with the unique demands of a football crowd. Furthermore, some of the fans who had found themselves uncomfortable in their new seats had been reallocated positions elsewhere in the ground.

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Back troubles at front of Jason Day’s mind as Dustin Johnson eyes No1 spot

Guardian Sport - Sun, 09/25/2016 - 15:03
• Australian forced to leave Tour Championship following second round
• American No2 looks set to usurp him at top of world golf ranking

The closing in of Dustin Johnson on the summit of golf’s world ranking may be the least of Jason Day’s worries. As the Australian departed East Lake on Friday, a back injury having curtailed his Tour Championship appearance, the narrative was ominously familiar.

Fitness woes, and all manner of them, have been a constant companion to Day’s professional career. With this in mind, it seems partly remarkable he has scaled such heights; either Day has a penchant for over-dramatisation or he recovers especially well. Johnson, who is in the form of his life, has Day’s No1 status firmly in his sights to the point where it would be a surprise if the American does not assume that position in the near future.

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West Ham’s defending ‘laughable’, says Mark Noble after Southampton shocker

Guardian Sport - Sun, 09/25/2016 - 14:58

• West Ham have now conceded 11 goals in past three league games
• ‘Everything that was good last year is bad,’ manager Slaven Bilic admits

Slaven Bilic admitted that the responsibility for West Ham United’s dreadful start to the season lies with him and denied that there is any split in the dressing room after the 3-0 defeat against Southampton at the London Stadium.

Although Mark Noble criticised the “laughable” defending that has led to West Ham conceding 11 goals in their past three league matches, Bilic insisted that the attitude in the camp remains positive.

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José Fernández: a smiling star whose death leaves baseball bereft

Guardian Sport - Sun, 09/25/2016 - 14:54

The Marlins pitcher is dead at the age of 24. It is a tragedy made all the more painful after the adversity he had overcome in his short life

This is the year my son fell in love with baseball and for reasons that are still unclear he declared the Miami Marlins his second-favorite team. He often wears a black Marlins shirt to school with orange pants to match the team’s colors. And each night when we sit in front of the television to watch an hour of baseball before bedtime it is usually the Marlins we see. The most recent Marlins game we watched together was last Tuesday night when the team’s best pitcher José Fernández sliced through the Washington Nationals, striking out 12 on his way to a 1-0 victory.

Related: Marlins pitcher José Fernández killed in boating accident at age of 24

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Bilic: West Ham have to change, following 3-0 loss to Southampton – video

Guardian Sport - Sun, 09/25/2016 - 14:53

Slaven Bilic, the West Ham United manager, and Claude Puel the Southampton United manager, give their reactions after The Saints beat the Hammers 3-0 at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Slaven Bilic says his team must change their approach after a string of defeats. Puel is positive about Southampton’s performance

Charlie Austin maintains his hot goal streak as Southampton beat West Ham

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Horse racing tips: Monday 26 September

Guardian Sport - Sun, 09/25/2016 - 14:08
Shahaama (2.50 Hamilton) is the nap; Fine Resolve (2.10 Bath) is next best

2.10 Fine Resolve (nb) 2.40 Touch Of Color 3.10 Daily News 3.40 Atkinson Grimshaw 4.10 Maazel 4.40 Precious Plum 5.10 Oeil De Tigre 5.40 Secretfact

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West Ham 0-3 Southampton: Confidence a problem for West Ham - Slaven Bilic

BBC Sport - Sun, 09/25/2016 - 14:04
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic says low confidence is a problem after his Hammers side suffered a fourth straight Premier League defeat, this time losing 3-0 at home to Southampton.

Betting moves before Faugheen’s Cheltenham withdrawal under investigation

Guardian Sport - Sun, 09/25/2016 - 14:01

• British Horseracing Authority spoke to Faugheen’s trainer Willie Mullins
• Mullins not suspected of any part in suspicious Champion Hurdle betting

An investigation is under way into suspicious betting patterns around the withdrawal of Faugheen from the Champion Hurdle. The horse’s all-conquering trainer, Willie Mullins, who is not suspected of any wrongdoing, spoke to officials from the British Horseracing Authority some months ago and was reported on Sunday to be interested in the case’s progress.

“I wasn’t given specific details by the BHA,” Mullins was quoted as saying by the Irish Times, “but they were looking for certain dates and times and I did that. I haven’t heard anything else. I’m as anxious to know what happened, if anything happened, as quickly as possible.”

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Antoine Griezmann strikes to secure Atlético Madrid victory over Deportivo

Guardian Sport - Sun, 09/25/2016 - 13:54

Antoine Griezmann’s second-half goal earned Atlético Madrid a 1-0 win against 10-man Deportivo La Coruña on Sunday, but Diego Simeone’s side suffered a double injury blow ahead of their Champions League clash against Bayern Munich.

The France international Griezmann scored his fifth goal of the season from close range 20 minutes from full time after the visitors were reduced to 10 men following midfielder Faycal Fajr’s sending off on the stroke of half-time.

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West Ham 0-3 Southampton: Claude Puel pleased with 'beautiful' goals

BBC Sport - Sun, 09/25/2016 - 13:52
Southampton manager Claude Puel is pleased with the "beautiful" goals that the Saints scored in their 3-0 Premier League win over West Ham at the London Stadium.

Salford sweep Batley aside to set up survival showdown with Hull KR

Guardian Sport - Sun, 09/25/2016 - 13:52
• Batley Bulldogs 14-42 Salford Red Devils
• Visitors run in eight tries to qualify for Million Pound Game

It is difficult to justify this as any kind of success for Salford given what lies ahead, but on an afternoon when victory was required to keep their Super League survival hopes alive, it was job done for Ian Watson’s side if nothing else.

This victory does not guarantee safety. That will come with a win against Hull KR in the Million Pound Game on Saturday, when the side relegated to the Championship at the expense of Leigh Centurions will be decided: but this was a confidence‑boosting result for a side who have at times looked devoid of the capabilities required to get through the Qualifiers this year.

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Kilmarnock's Coulibaly scores 44-yard screamer

BBC Sport - Sun, 09/25/2016 - 13:48
Kilmarnock striker Souleymane Coulibaly scores from 44 yards at Celtic on Saturday - before his team go on to lose 6-1.